Kampala — A team of 18 players resumed preparations for the Netball World Cup yesterday at the MTN Arena in Lugogo, after nearly three weeks away with their respective clubs.
Unfortunately the team that will compete for world honours in Liverpool in July have limited time to practice at the Arena that is also on high demand from other sports disciplines like volleyball and basketball among others.
At the beginning of their training session early last month, the team was pushed to train from the neighbouring hockey grounds because the Arena was being used by badminton players.
This left players complaining of knee and elbow injuries due to falls on the sand-maintained astro-turf ground.
"The scorching sun as well as the heat generated from the turf makes you hate training," said one player who preferred anonymity after a training session.
The team hoped to train from the new Makerere Arena, however after the World University Netball Championships, the standard turf that was put in the structure was removed for re-construction that is still pending.
"We have other options for training grounds like the Luzira Prisons Ground but now that the players are in non-residential training it is very far and cannot be easily assessed," said coach Vincent Kiwanuka.
"The indoor arena is okay for us, but we are always forced to vacate it when people hire it for events," he added.
She Cranes will host the Zimbabwe Gems in Lugogo for a series of friendly games slated for April 25-27 as they await other countries like Jamaica, Australia and Malawi to confirm more friendlies.
"We are ready to fly to any country for friendlies between now and June. We believe African countries that qualified for World Cup are willing to have friendlies with us but they have not yet responded to our pleas," William Bwambale, the vice president of Uganda Netball Federation (UNF), said.
The She Cranes budget for Netball World Cup including friendly games is worth Shs2b.
NETBALL WORLD CUP
Date: July 12-21
Venue: M&S Bank Arena Liverpool, England